News & Analysis

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    May Day in San Francisco, mayday for the city’s labor movement

    The city of San Francisco has a rich, if largely forgotten, labor history. From the apocrypha of the late, beloved Chronicle columnist Herb Caen we glean that the first labor strike in Baghdad by the Bay occurred on Montgomery Street in mid-19th century, when Chinese workers constructing a building made of Chinese granite blocks were able to negotiate a wage increase upon realizing that their bosses couldn’t read the block’s Chinese inscriptions detailing how the stones should be set. From…
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    Who’s going to win tonight’s Mayweather-Pacquiao fight? Periscope and Meerkat

    Tonight’s Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao fight is one of the most highly anticipated boxing matches ever. It is also going to be an absurdly lucrative night for both fighters as well as their promoters and the networks showing the fight — Time anticipates it will make $400 million in revenue. Tickets for the fight can’t be found for less than $3,500. If you are watching at home, it will cost you $90 for the standard definition version…
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    For the record, here’s the Ron Paul newsletter on 1992’s L.A. riots and advice on killing black “animals”

    Earlier this week, I wrote about Rand Paul’s reaction to the riots in Baltimore — blaming the unrest on black culture, “the breakdown of the family structure, the lack of father.” That comment, and Rand Paul’s boast that “I am sympathetic to the plight of of the police [in Baltimore],” prompted me to look back at his father and “hero,” Ron Paul, and how he reacted the last time urban blacks rose up in outrage against police brutality in a major city—the Los Angeles…
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    Dave Goldberg, Head of Web Survey Company and Half of a Silicon Valley Power Couple, Dies at 47

    “Dave Goldberg, the chief executive of SurveyMonkey and the husband of Sheryl K. Sandberg of Facebook, died suddenly on Friday night. He was 47. Mr. Goldberg was a serial Silicon Valley entrepreneur and venture capitalist. His death was confirmed by SurveyMonkey, which is known for its web-based survey technology, although the company did not disclose the cause of death.”  – NYTimes
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    RippleWorks is sending Silicon Valley expertise to the developing world (You’re welcome, developing world!)

    We all know by know that Silicon Valley innovation is going to change the world, make it a better place, and solve humanity’s most malignant problems. It’s only a matter of time. And robots. And drones. And novel financial instruments. Or whatever else your company happens to peddle, since saving the world correlates seamlessly with capitalism. “‘Change the World’ drives me fricking crazy,” says Doug Galen, co-founder and CEO of RippleWorks, the just-launched nonprofit wing of distributed payment protocoller Ripple Labs. “What…
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    With $350M in new funding, is Spotify really worth twice as much as Pandora?

    The music streaming wars just got even more interesting. Sources tell CNBC that Spotify has raised $350 million in a new round of funding with “one of the large commitments” coming from Goldman Sachs. That would bring Spotify’s total cash haul through private funding to almost $900 million and give it a headline-grabbing valuation of $8 billion — up from $5.7 billion last January — which many observers have noted is over twice Pandora’s market capitalization. But…
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    The Quantified Baby could be a game changer, but only if parents don’t expect it to be a life saver

    Every now and then, I’ll wake up from a deep, snore-riddled sleep, and, for whatever innate reason, get seized by an overwhelming sense of panic that something is wrong with one of my kids sleeping about 15 feet away. Sometimes, the worry will pass. Other times, I’ll be driven to get up and sneak into their room to put my hand on their chest to see if they are breathing or watch them for a few moments to see if they…
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    Google’s data tentacles burrow deeper into smart phone apps with expanded Voice Control

    Google has found a new way to make its products seem ubiquitous: Allowing consumers to command Android applications with its Voice Control feature. Voice Control is the tool that allows people to ask Google questions or perform basic tasks on their Android smartphones. All they have to say is “OK Google…” make a query, and wait while the software does its best to fulfill their request. The feature used to be restricted to Google’s properties. Now, however, it can be…
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    The inside story of PayPal’s One Touch: Bill Ready’s bet-the-company, six-year battle to make you spend more money

    On Tuesday, PayPal officially launched “One Touch For Web.” The new service, an update of the mobile version of the One Touch e-commerce product that the company launched last August, allows consumers to buy items or services through mobile devices or on a desktop without having to enter user names or passwords, shipping information, or payment details. Once a PayPal users signs into PayPal One Touch on their phone, tablet, or computer, the information is linked to that device allowing…
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    The government just made it harder for them to spy on you… sorta

    The House Judiciary Committee has advanced a version of the Freedom Act that limits the government’s surveillance abilities without sweeping reforms. This version of the Act is expected to end the National Security Agency’s bulk data collection, limit the FBI’s ability to gather information with National Security Letters, and reform the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act’s court. The Electronic Frontier Foundation praised the bill’s advance even as it said a previous version of it, which placed more restrictions on…
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    Meerkat heads to Android

    Meerkat has released an Android application which, despite being available as a public beta, is said to boast most of the functionality of the existing iOS app. The release places Meerkat ahead of Twitter-owned live-streaming rival Periscope, which is currently limited to iOS devices. [Source: The Verge]
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    Spotify reportedly raises at $8B valuation

    Spotify has reportedly raised a $350 million funding round at an $8 billion valuation. Goldman Sachs is the only investor named in the report; it’s not clear who else has contributed to the round, which is said to have valued Spotify at more than double Pandora’s public market capitalization. [Source: CNBC]
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    Grooveshark shuts down

    Grooveshark, the music-streaming service that never bothered to secure licenses for much of its content, has shut down. The company has apologized for failing to obtain the rights to the music it streamed, and asked people who “love music and respect the artists, songwriters, and everyone else who makes great music possible” to use a legitimate service. [Source: Grooveshark]
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    Tesla expands from luxury vehicles to wall-mounted batteries

    Tesla Motors has created a new division called Tesla Energy. Now, in addition to making electric vehicles for rich people, it will also make “Powerwalls” for middle-class environmentalists and bigger batteries for corporate customers. One version of the Powerwall will cost $3,500 when it debuts over the summer. Another version that stores less energy will cost $3,000. Tesla says the packs offer “independence from the utility grid and the security of an emergency backup” by storing energy from solar panels or existing electric infrastructure.…
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    ClassPass staffer says “bros” should stalk, hit on sweaty women during its exercise classes

    What’s the best way to garner attention for one of New York’s hottest women-led startups? Raise $40 million in investment funding? Acquire a competitor? Have your founder featured in an Inc. piece on how dancing helps her get through the work week? No. None of the above quite does the trick. At least that’s how someone in ClassPass’s content marketing department felt. So this week, the fitness class booking platform published an awkward and…
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The Week in Review